How to Care for Ivy Geranium

Overview

Hanging baskets or window boxes filled with graceful ivy geraniums add a splash of brilliant color to your landscape from late spring until frost. Large clusters of small flowerets seem to float above the dark green foliage and create a striking contrast when paired with dainty white flowers like bridal flower. Relatively carefree, this plant thrives in containers. Its vines may reach a length of 3 feet. According to Iowa State University Extension, the ivy geranium's lighting needs and temperature requirements differ markedly from those of the more familiar garden geranium.

Step 1

Combine equal parts of peat moss, commercial potting soil and perlite to create a lightweight soil that promotes drainage. Ivy geranium grows best in loose, well-drained soil.

Step 2

Fill the container 3/4 full with moist soil and situate the ivy geranium to its original planting depth. Fill in around the roots with fresh soil and firm down with your hands to secure the plant.

Step 3

Water thoroughly until water runs clear from the bottom of the pot.

Step 4

Move ivy geranium plants outside once the danger of frost has passed in your area. Place in full sun when temperatures remain between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Move to partial shade when temperatures soar above 85 degrees. Provide direct morning sun with afternoon shade, if possible.

Step 5

Water to keep the soil consistently moist. Changes in moisture levels will damage the stems of an ivy geranium and cause cracks and blemishes. Plants growing in containers may require daily watering, as soil in a container dries quickly in the summer sun.

Step 6

Pinch out center leaves of new growth when seedlings are 4 inches high to force the plant to send out more shoots. This creates more vines and produces a full plant with abundant blooms.

Step 7

Fertilize with water-soluble fertilizer designed for flowering plants every two weeks throughout the summer.

Step 8

Deadhead blooms as soon as they begin to fade by snapping or clipping them from the plant. This sends a message to the plant that it has not produced enough blooms to set seed or reproduce, causing the ivy geranium to produce new blooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Commercial potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Container or hanging basket
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Garden clippers (optional)

References

  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Geranium Culture for Home Gardeners
  • Iowa State University Extension: Ivy Geraniums

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois Extension: Successful Container Gardens
Keywords: ivy geranium care, grow ivy geranium, ivy geraniums

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.